Sunday, November 23, 2008
SpaceX Engines Rattle Central Texas
A SpaceX rocket engine test lit up the night sky in McGregor, Texas sending a shock wave felt all across Central Texas. The explosion was actually a success from an extremely powerful nine-engine rocket known as the Falcon 9. The 177-second-long, nine-engine “mission duty cycle” was a complete success reports SpaceX and The Waco Tribune Herald [w/vid]. Here is a nice eyewitness video *****report and a Texas Blogger reaction [funny].
The full mission duration test firing of the Falcon 9 first stage lasting nearly 3 minutes. The nine Merlin engines produced 855,000 lbs. of thrust and consumed over half a million pounds of liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene during the test. SpaceX has added video of the test.
The Falcon-9 is a NASA COTS contender for re-supply services to the International Space Station in late 2010.